What Causes Disc Problems?

​Discs are the soft but strong cushions that separate the bones (vertebrae) in your spine and absorb shock as you move. Repeated strain over time, an injury, or sudden, forceful movements can damage discs and irritate nerves, causing neck pain, back pain, numbness, or tingling in your back, legs, neck and arms.

Healthy Disc

A disc has a spongy, gel-like center (nucleus) and a tough outer ring (annulus). The vertebrae roll back and forth and rotate on the discs, allowing you to move easily.

Bulging Disc

With repeated stress, a disc can wear down. The disc's nucleus may begin to bulge into the annulus and irritate nearby nerves.

Ruptured Disc

Sudden trauma from auto accidents or falls can cause a disc to rupture. The nucleus pushes through the annulus and presses on nearby nerves, causing severe pain.


Alexandria-Arlington VA Chiropractor, Dr. Leslie Holcombe-Michels offers a unique treatment for disc problems that is especially effective. This procedure is called Cox Flexion Distraction Manipulative Spinal Decompression Technique.